Darrell Brooks appears in court following Wisconsin parade attack
At least two cities in Illinois have amended Christmas parades and enhanced security plans following the tragedy in Waukesha, Wisconsin, last weekend, with authorities informing the public to “expect to see more police barriers and city vehicles”.
The parades, which include the Santa Claus procession in Peoria on Friday, are popular events and allegedly the longest running Christmas parade in the US, having occurred 133 times before.
In Galesburg, Illinois, a second Christmas parade will similarly take place next weekend with enhanced security, and assurances from authorities of public safety.
It follows a fundraiser for 39-year-old Darrell Brooks being removed by GoFundMe after the page violated its terms by asking for donations totalling $5m (£3.7m) to free the accused from bail.
Mr Brooks, who police believe wanted to strike “as many people as possible” when he raced his car through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Sunday, was described in the fundraiser as a “friend”.
A criminal complaint filed on Tuesday has meanwhile accused Mr Brooks of having “no emotion” when he drove down the parade route, killing six people and wounding at least 47 others.
He was said to have fled from police responding to a call about a domestic dispute between him and another person hours earlier, and prosecutors plan to charge him with six counts of first-degree intentional homicide.
He is being held on $5m bail.
More than $1.5m has been raised to support victims of the attack and their families. The six people killed are: Tamara Durand, Jane Kulich, Wilhelm Hospel, Leanna Owen, Virginia “Ginny” Sorenson, and Jackson Sparks.
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District attorney considering suspect's criminal record in setting bail
The Milwaukee District Attorney’s Office has officially named Darrell Brooks as the parade crash suspect and confirmed his prior criminal record.
The office issued a press release midday Monday announcing it will consider Mr Brooks rap sheet in determining how high his bail should be.
The release cited two prior infractions, the first being a July 2020 arrest for reckless endangerment and felon in possession of a firearm. His $7,500 bail in that case was lowered to $500 in February after the court was unable to meet his demand for a speedy trial.
Mr Brooks posted that bail and was arrested again earlier this month on charges of reckless endangerment, felony bail jumping, battery, obstructing an officer and disorderly conduct. His bail in the second case was set at $1,000, and he was released last Friday.
The DA’s office said it is conducting a review to determine an appropriate bail amount for the pending charges for the parade crash, given the charges previously levied against him.
Driver’s former attorney won’t represent him in parade case
A lawyer who has represented Darrell Brooks in multiple past cases has said he will not do so in the parade case.
Attorney Joe Domask told Fox News on Monday: “I do not represent Mr Brooks in any matters in Waukesha County or regarding the incident that occurred yesterday in Waukesha County. Nor will I be doing so in the future.”
He added: “Here at Domask Law, our hearts are broken for all families affected by the tragedy at the Waukesha Parade. The Waukesha community is dear to our hearts here and we joined in their sorrow. And we keep all those affected by this incident in our thoughts and prayers.”
Biden speaks out on parade tragedy
President Joe Biden addressed the parade tragedy in remarks from the White House on Monday afternoon.
“While we don’t have all the facts and details yet, we know this morning that five families in Waukesha are facing fresh grief of a life without a loved one,” he said.
“At least 40 Americans are suffering from injuries, some of them in critical condition, and an entire community is struggling, struggling to cope with the horrific act of violence.”
He continued: “Last night the people of Waukesha were gathered to celebrate the start of a season of hope and togetherness and Thanksgiving. This morning Jill and I and the entire Biden family, and I’m sure all of us pray that that same spirit is going to embrace and lift up all the victims of this tragedy, bringing comfort to those recovering from their injuries and wrapping the families of those who died in support of their community.
“We’re all grateful to the extraordinary work of first responders from law enforcement to the emergency room doctors, who are working around the clock to deal with the terrible consequence of what happened last night. My administration is monitoring the situation very closely.”
Police give case update at press conference
Waukesha Police held a press conference about the tragedy at 1pm CT on Monday and announced the injured toll had risen from 40 to 48.
Waukesha Police Chief Daniel Thompson read off the names of the five people killed: Virginia Sorenson, 79; Leanna Owens, 71; Tamara Duran, 52; James Coolidge, 52; and Wilhem Hospel, 82.
The Independent’s Helen Elfer reports:
Many of the injured remain in hospital
Police rule out terror attack
Authorities have determined the parade attack was not an incident of terrorism, Police Chief Daniel Thompson said at Monday’s press conference.
Mr Thompson said suspect Darrell Brooks had been involved in a “domestic dispute” prior to the crash but said he was not being pursued by police at the time.
He is now facing five counts of first-degree intentional homicide.
The Independent’s Bevan Hurley reports:
Police say suspect in Wisconsin Christmas parade tragedy Darrell Brooks acted alone
Officer who shot at suspect’s vehicle is placed on administrative leave
An officer who opened fire on suspect Darrell Brooks’ vehicle in an attempt to stop it after it plowed into the parade crowd has been placed on administrative leave.
Waukesha Police Chief Daniel Thompson confirmed the leave at Monday’s press conference, adding that no one was injured in the officer’s gunfire.
“When the suspect was driving through and into the crowd, one officer did discharge his firearm and fire shots at the suspect to stop the threat but due to the amount of people, had to stop, stop and fire — not fire any other additional shots,” Mr Thompson said.
Probe launched into how suspect was freed from jail on ‘inappropriately low’ bail days before parade
The Milwaukee District Attorney’s office has launched an investigation into how Darrell Brooks came to be released from jail on an “inappropriately low” bail just days before the fatal Waukesha Christmas parade.
As officials charged the 39-year with five counts of “intentional homicide” over the incident, that left five people dead and injured 48, it was revealed he had been released from jail 10 days earlier.
Reports said Mr Brooks had been charged three times in less than two years with recklessly endangering the safety of others, most recently on 5 November.
The Independent’s Andrew Buncombe reports:
An investigation has been launched into how the suspect in the Waukesha parade tragedy had been released from jail on “inappropriately low” bail over an another incident.
Father tells how he pushed daughter to safety
A father who witnessed the Christmas parade tragedy has revealed how pushed his daughter out of the path of the SUV that killed five people and injured 40 others.
Thomas Kluka Jr, who was at the parade with his wife and teenage daughter and a friend on Sunday, said he saw the SUV coming towards him when he yelled for his family to move.
“I noticed him coming through the crowd and I noticed something was not right”, Mr Kluka Jr told TODAY. “And then I seen kind of like just people flying as I stood up.
“I’m like ‘Oh no.’ My daughter stood up, I threw her out of the way, then I basically yelled, ‘Get out of the way,’ and my wife got out of the way”.
The Independent’s Gino Spocchia reports:
Father told reporters: ‘If I had to get hit, I had to get hit’
Three victims were on Milwaukee Dancing Grannies team
Three of the victims killed in Sunday’s attack were members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies team. They are: Virginia Sorenson, 79; LeAnna Owen, 71; and Tamara Durand, 52.
A fourth victim, 81-year-old Wilhelm Hospel, was the husband of a team member and a volunteer with the group.
The Independent’s Bevan Hurley has the latest on the victims:
‘Those who died were extremely passionate Grannies. They were the glue....held us together’
Darrell Brooks to face preliminary hearing on Tuesday
Darrell Brook’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for 4pm CT on Tuesday.
The 39-year-old is facing five counts of first-degree intentional homicide, police said Monday.
More charges could be added as the investigation continues, police said.
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